Reviewing Pilowlava: A Trendy Graphic Font Perfect for Visuals

pilowlava cover

Welcome to Typogram’s FontDiscovery newsletter, written by your resident font and design nerd, Hua. Want to learn more about font and design? Subscribe FontDiscovery to get weekly doses of learning and inspiration♪

In This Issue…

How to Use Pilowlava for Logo, Branding & More


  • Font of the Week: Pilowlava, crazy display font with vibrating intensity. Are you creating gif or visual? This is for you!
  • Design/Marketing Idea: Text as Image
  • Color Inspiration: Sunrise in Joshua Tree, California
Sample of Pilowlava, paired with Space Grotesk
sample of Pilowlava, paired with Space Grotesk
Sample of Pilowlava, paired with Space Grotesk

Font of the Week

The Visual Pillow Lava

There is something crazy about Pilowlava. It is one of the most decorative, creative fonts I have seen in a while. Not your typical serif or sans serif, Pilowlava is a lot more extra than a regular old display font. The source of inspiration for Pilowlava is the reason for its stimulating shapes. Pillow lavas are Pillow-shaped lavas formed from the extrusion of lava underwater. Hence, the font is appropriately named, with voluptuous ebbs and flow on the letters. Our eyes are naturally drawn from one letter to the next on this font.

actual Pillow Lava
Actual Pillow Lava; source: wikipedia

Font Details

  • Contorted strokes mimic the shape of lava
  • Only has Uppercase
  • There is a 3D version of this font, which can be rendered and used in 3D software (like Blender)
font detail of Pilowlava
font details of Pilowlava
img: Pilowlava in 3D
Pilowlava in 3D, source:

General Usage Tips

  • Not suitable for body text (too decorative)
  • One weight, one style only
  • Pairing: with sans serif, like Space Grotesk and Nunito
Pilowlave pairs nicely with Space Grotesk
Pilowlave pairs nicely with Space Grotesk

How can I use Pilowlava for logo?

  • Watch out for legibility
  • Reserved for specific brands
  • Communicates young, trendy, hip, edgy, transformative(speed)

It’s difficult to use Pilowlava as a logo font, primarily because it has limited legibility. Regardless, it has been used in logos. It’s a trendy, decorative font with a lot of character for a creative brand targeting demographics on the younger side.

Pilowlava used as branding for, an inclusive community
Pilowlava used as branding for xgender, an inclusive community; source: FontsinUse

How can I use Pilowlava for branding and marketing?

  • This font is excellent for social media. post, animations, videos
  • The way it looks already makes you think of movements and animations
Pilowlava being used as branding for a gallery
Pilowlava being used as branding for a gallery; source: FontsinUse

Want more Pilowlava? See it in action in this video about the Difference between Whiskey, Scotch, and Bourbon.

Design/Marketing Idea of the Week

Text as image

There is a long battle between text and image. Is it the text that pulls on our heartstrings, or is it the picture that’s worth a thousand words? Maybe there is a happy marriage between both in the text as image approach, where the text communicates about the subject visually, in addition to through its meaning. This technique has had a long history in art, design, and publishing. An example is the concrete poetry movement in the 1910s.

For branding, sometimes we see a similar visual trickery at play for logos. The classic FedEx logo uses this technique in a more clever, conceptual way: it uses the whitespace created by the letters to create a hidden, additional iconography. 

George Herbert’s “Easter Wings”
George Herbert’s “Easter Wings” (1633), printed sideways on facing pages so that the lines would call to mind angels flying with outstretched wings; source: wikipedia
FedEx logo
FedEx (US shipping company) logo with a hidden arrow. did you spot it?; source: fifteendesign 

Color Inspiration of the Week

Joshua Tree

Every week we feature beautiful photos from our subscribers and community. This week we have a lovely sunset from Joshua Tree in California, USA. JR is a wireless networking engineer, creator, and maker based in California. Thank you, JR, for this beautiful photo!

Interested in contributing an image? email us your image for a chance to be featured!

Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA.
Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA. source: JR

Creative Prompt

Can you create a visual for Twitter or Instagram using Pilowlava, Text as Image technique, or the color palette we featured today?

Thank you

…for reading and hanging out here this week! Pilowlava is available here.

Pilowlava infographic
Pilowlava infographic


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